The Trump Organization indicted in the coming days? Lawyers for Donald Trump’s company pleaded Monday, June 28, to try to avoid him with prosecutors, accused by the former Republican president of “harassing a political opponent”. In recent days, reports have indicated that the closed-door investigations into the cases of the ex-New York real estate mogul – opened two years ago by the Manhattan attorney and the New York state attorney, two elected Democrats, and relating to suspicions of tax fraud or insurance fraud – were preparing to bear their first fruits.
According to several media, lawyers for the Trump Organization were to meet with prosecutors on Monday to present their final arguments in favor of not indicting the company. Information indirectly confirmed by Donald Trump himself Monday evening, who indicated in a press release that his lawyers were given “one day, today, to defend us from having done things that are commonplace in the world of business”.
Anonymous sources quoted by the New York Times had indicated last week that an indictment by the Trump Organization was under consideration, concerning benefits in kind granted to the financial director of the holding, Allen Weisselberg, faithful among the faithful of Donald Trump, and presumably not reported to the tax authorities. Asked by AFP, neither the prosecutors concerned nor the lawyers of the Trump Organization – an unlisted family holding company that owns golf clubs, hotels and luxury properties – or Mr. Weisselberg have confirmed this information.
A “matter of days.”
White House in early 2017 – be it too? For Bennett Gershman, Pace University law professor and ex-Manhattan prosecutor, a Trump Organization indictment should now be “a matter of days.” Could the corporate body that is the Trump Organization be sued, without Donald Trump or any of his family members – he left the reins of his business to his two eldest sons and Mr. Weisselberg on his way home? Many forensic experts deem this unlikely and expect Mr. Weisselberg, who has so far refused to cooperate with the justice system, to be indicted as well, at the same time as the Trump Organization or soon after.
But no one risks a prognosis concerning a possible indictment of the former Republican president, who held his first major political rally in Ohio on Saturday since leaving the White House and maintains the ambiguity on a new candidacy for the presidential election in 2024. One of the attorneys for the Trump Organization, Ron Fischetti, assured American media on Monday evening that Donald Trump would not be personally indicted, “at least not in what will fall this week” – all stressing that he was “not yet out of the woods”.
The former president, now domiciled in Florida, again qualified Monday these investigations as “the continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time”. He also accused Democratic prosecutors of being “desperate to stop” his movement and him “going so far as to commit professional misconduct and harass a political opponent”. Even if he were indicted, that would not theoretically prevent him from running for president again, under US election laws. The ongoing investigations are based on eight years of tax returns from the former president obtained by prosecutors after a long legal battle and testimonies from his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen.
Sentenced to three years in prison, the latter, who works with investigators, said the company regularly overvalued or undervalued its assets, possible crimes of tax fraud or insurance fraud. The investigations should, in any case, continue beyond the first indictments, leaving the door open to new prosecutions in the long term. And the possibility of seeing justice catch up with Donald Trump does not fail to delight his opponents: “He never followed the rules” and “deserves to go to prison”, declared on CNN Barbara Res, a former president.